Jax Journal Spotlights YCC

On October 27th Danielle Leigh from Jax Journal sat down with President and CEO Kim Sirdevan from the Youth Crisis Center. Take a listen as they discuss everything from crisis services offered by YCC to upcoming projects and how you can get involved. 

Founded in 1974 as Florida’s first runaway program, Youth Crisis Center has grown to one of the largest and best-known providers of services for youth and families. YCC’s emphasis on care is for those  who have been exposed to traumatic situations such as divorce, homelessness, relocation, loss of life, and abuse. YCC provides a variety of services for children, adolescents, young adults, and families.


The Jim Moran Foundation Funds Critical Visual Arts Program for Youth

Youth Crisis Center Teams With Feeding Northeast Florida To Fight Childhood Obesity

The Youth Crisis Center (YCC) and Feeding Northeast Florida are teaming up to combat  obesity in Jacksonville’s children.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

About one in five children over six in the U.S. are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Appearing on Thursday’s First Coast Connect, YCC Director of Strategic Partnerships Nina Lopez said many children are facing troubles that lead to poor dietary habits.

“In the clients we serve, children and families are dealing with common causes of obesity and this could stem from everything such as genetics, metabolism problems, environmental factors and what’s going on in the community in general, a lack of sleep maybe, bad eating habits and a lack of physical activities,” she said.

Feeding Northeast Florida CEO Frank Castillo said his group is working with YCC to help create a food pantry for at-risk children and their families with more healthy food options.

Many of the children live in so-called “food deserts” where healthy food options can be hard to come by.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

YCC and the use of Civil Citations

Do Civil Citations work? Is the program seeing success? First Coast Connect guest host, Charlene Shirk and Juvenile Director of the 4th Judicial District State Attorney’s Office, Laura Lambert discuss these issues with YCC’s President and CEO, Kim Sirdevan. Click below to listen to the latest discussion regarding the use of Civil Citations instead of arresting youth in Jacksonville.


Warning signs that your child may be a target for perpetrators

In the midst of a 12-year old girl from Jacksonville that had gone missing, Youth Crisis Center’s Director of Programs talked to Channel 4 News about warning signs that your child may be a target for perpetrators. Young children are “perfect victims for perpetrators that are looking for a child that may have a low self-esteem,” said Licensed Mental Health Clinician, Cecelia Stalnaker-Cauwenberghs. It’s an opportunity for them to “swoop in and save the day, build that child’s confidence level.”

Click HERE to watch the interview and read more about warning signs parents can look for.

Nonprofit Seeking More “Safe Place” Sites Across Northeast Florida

The Youth Crisis Center, located in Jacksonville and founded in 1974 is seeking additional Northeast Florida locations to be Safe Place sites where at-risk youth can get immediate help.

Area Safe Place sites are characterized by the yellow and black Safe Place sign, and include police and fire stations, public libraries, local businesses, Walmarts, Sam’s Clubs and Home Depots. Any young person in need of help, on the run, homeless, or trying to escape sex traffickers can go to any location with a Safe Place sign and they will be immediately connected to YCC then taken home or to an emergency shelter.

Nationwide there are 21,750 Safe Place sites in 1,443 communities that have directly helped over 12,000 youth a year. To learn more about Safe Place and how to become a site, click here to read the full article.





Warning Signs Someone Could Commit a Violent Attack; How to React

If you see something, say something- it could save someone’s life.” Kim Sirdevan, President and CEO of Youth Crisis Center spoke to CBS 47’s Jenna Bourne about the warning signs that could indicate someone may be capable of a violent attack. Some signs include loss of temper on a daily basis, announcing threats, plans for hurting others and enjoyment in hurting animals. For the full story click here or watch the video below:




Kids and Officers Work to Address Misconceptions

In 2012 the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) launched focus groups centered around Gaining Appreciation by Adjusting Perspectives, otherwise known as GAAP, with the goal of establishing positive relationships between youth and law enforcement. On Monday, February 12th, 20 kids from the Youth Crisis Center took part in a GAAP discussion covering everything from officer-involved shootings to their own experiences with law enforcement.

We greatly appreciate DJJ for facilitating this discussion as well as the officers for taking time out of their schedule. Click here to read the full story.

First Coast Connect Interview for National Runaway Month 2017

For National Runaway Month, YCC President and CEO Kim Sirdevan stopped by First Coast Connect to talk with Melissa Ross about youth homelessness and how YCC is helping to tackle this issue. Nationwide over 3 million children run away each year. In Duval County, 74% of the 3,000 plus missing person reports filed involve youth between the ages of 13 to 17. Sirdevan mentions that there are many signs to indicate that your child is contemplating running away, but some of the most common are changes in behavior/mood, sleep pattern, and the group of friends, as well as the child not engaging in regular family activities. To learn more, listen to the full interview below.

Jacksonville’s Youth Crisis Center to Add Area’s First LGBTQ Emergency Shelter

About 60% of Jacksonville’s homeless youth population identify as LGBTQ, when the national average is 40%. To combat this, the Youth Crisis Center has joined forces with JASMYN and Changing Homelessness to establish a safe space. Read the full Times-Union article here to learn more about this effort and what it means to the Jacksonville community.